Light amber to mid-range brown in color, strong ales are medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness. Hop aroma should be minimal and flavor can vary from none to medium in character intensity. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas can Page 9 of 35 1/13/06 contribute to the character of this ale. Bitterness should be minimal but evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel like sweetness. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. A rich, often sweet and complex estery character may be evident. This process often softens the perceived bitterness. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
(This style may often be split into two categories, strong and very strong.)